Raven's Eye Imperial Stout - Eel River Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Raven's Eye Imperial StoutRaven's Eye Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

185 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 185
Hads: 307
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 13.07%
Wants: 12
Gots: 26 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Eel River Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: beerguy101 on 08-12-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 185 | Hads: 307
Photo of arizcards
3.17/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up a bomber from Total Wine on New Years Eve for $6.99.

Beer poured dark brown with no head to speak of.

Nose is of roasted malts and dark fruits. There is a medicinal quality in the background.

Taste is roasted malts and dark fruits, seems a bit flat.

Mouthfeel is light for the style, but it is very smooth.

Overall this is an OK beer, a little uneven, but not a drain pour. Not sure if I will try this again. (423 characters)

Photo of beerguy101
4.2/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown color, creamy head. A full-bodied nitrogen-conditioned Russian Imperial Stout. Deeply roasted malts. Nice hop balance. Chocolate and coffee flavor. Very smooth taste, Nice flavor. Big and expansive. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and very smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter. No alcohol bite despite a 9.5%. Excellent stout. (351 characters)

Photo of Overlord
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black, thin tan head. Smells ... like molasses.

Taste has a bunch of molasses, burnt sugar, some roasted malt and a bit of chocolate ... pretty overwhelmed by the sugariness. Almost no aroma.

Fairly thin mouthfeel, but creamy. Decent, but I wouldn't go out of my way to get. (282 characters)

Photo of dsa7783
4.17/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1 pint, 6 fl oz bottle purchased from Buy Rite on Oak Tree in South Plainfield...
Pours a deep, jet-black, ebony appearance with a small foamy head that left a minimal amount of lacing...
Faint aroma dominated with roasted malts, scotch, caramel, vanilla, and honey...
Taste strongly complements the smell, with a powerful rich malt essence balanced out by a tinge of vanilla, toffee, figs, prunes, and dates...
Slick, oily, slightly watered-down mouthfeel with not too much going on in this department...
Easy level of drinkabilty especially due to the fact that the hefty 9.5% ABV was hardly detectable behind a rich conglomertion of chocolate, espresso, and cocoa nuances...
Not the best RIS I've ever sampled, but definitely not bad at all... (746 characters)

Photo of wagenvolks
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into a Corsendonk 0.33L tulip.

Great looking pour on this RIS, as it fills the glass with a thick, motor-oil viscosity, building a well-retained, molasses-colored head. Great-smelling aroma too: powdered cocoa, cookie dough, roasted coffee beans, vanilla-infused espresso, and a kiss of liqour.

Bitter, roasted coffee-malts hit the tastebuds first, followed by notes of dark chocolate and a warming, boozy finish. Mouthfeel is creamy & thick up front, but turns quickly to a sharp bitter/ascerbic aftertaste that is both enjoyable and memorable. All in all, I was quite impressed with this, my first Eel River brew. Russian Imperials, especially from lesser-known breweries, do not always perform up to par, but this beer easily makes eagle (or would it be "Raven"?). Corniness aside, this is an extremely well-crafted brew and I look forward to my bottle of ER Triple Exultation. (890 characters)

Photo of Crosling
2.88/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle from Liquid Solutions. Pours brown out of the bottle but appears dark in the glass. Fairly nice light brown head. Very miniscule nose. I’m comparing this next to Bristol XXX Warlock and the Warlock is powerfully aromatic. This has hardly any aroma at all. Flavor isn’t much better. A light hint of malt-o-meal, dried chocolate. Not very complex, not hoppy and not nearly roasty enough. Meh, very mediocre. (414 characters)

Photo of atsprings
4.15/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured an opaque black with a thin head that diminished and left very spotty lacing on the glass. The aroma was of weak cocoa and roasted malt. The taste was a good blend of roasted barley, dark chocolate and mild espresso, very well balanced and makes quite a tasty stout. The mouthfeel is very smooth for a beer of this taste. There is some heaviness, but it's easy for the palate to handle. This is a very drinkable Imperial Stout, it almost begs to be chugged. (473 characters)

Photo of rastaman
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tap@Eel River. Rich and sweet, with some welcomed acidity and bitterness, oily, licoricy, roasted, long finish, good stuff. Not a style i generally mark low anyway, so most of the time its gonna get an OK score, but this was a middle of the road imperial stout, tasty stuff. (274 characters)

Photo of PorterLambic
3.08/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a very dark brown with little light getting in. Fizzy sounding head has little retention or lace.
Smell fresh from the icebox is mostly wet cardboard. Some very light notes of malt, roast and hop.
Taste is more involving with notes of roasted malt, dark fruits, smoke, coffee, molasses and whiskey.
Flavor is rich but body is just medium, somewhat watery, with a fairly high amount of carbonation. Dry finish and slightly warming. A decen beer but there are many better imperial stouts. Is it just me or are the certified organic beers just not hitting the marks the non-certified beers are hitting? (605 characters)

Photo of beergoot
3.98/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Opaque, dark body capped with a thick, creamy tan head. A variety of smells: sweet chocolate, vanilla, dark fruit, slightly burnt grains, twinge of alcohol. Burnt toast and bittersweet taste, a bitter undercurrent mixed with some alcohol flavor. Smooth, creamy feel; buttery; medium-heavy body; soft carbonation; some alcohol heat.

A very good imperial stout. Depth and complexity, nicely balanced. Hits all the marks and comes across as a top-notch big beer. (460 characters)

Photo of jampics2
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Looks nice, black body with tan head. Minimum head but it sticks.

Smell is chocolate malt, roast, molasses, and a slight metallic tinge either from the yeast or the minimally present aroma hops.

Taste is really quite nice. Kinda in the same vein as all the other big American RIS with sweet residual sugars, but this has a wonderful balance between the roasty dark flavors and the sweetness. Some chocolate and coffee, roasted burnt malt, and molasses. Really nice but alcohol becomes more apparent as it warms.

Mouthfeel is good but could be better. Not thick and viscous enough but not horrible, I've had much worse. Carb is spot-on, there to break things up but not distracting at all.

Drinkability is good. Didn't know what to expect from this one, but it's a great RIS. Good balance of flavors without going for the extreme, overshadowing approach. Good beer, glad to try it! (923 characters)

Photo of lackenhauser
4.18/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep black in color. Smallish tan head. Mellow aroma-nice deep roasted mocha type smell. Killer roasted and somewhat coffeeish flavor. Silky smooth maltiness against the roasted flavor. Somewhat grainy taste. Nice level of hop bite to it. Lingering dark chocolate taste. Very full and smooth mouthfeel. Just a great RIS all around. Really a nice beer. I love the mellow coffe/mocha thing going on. Thank you sir can I have another? (431 characters)

Photo of Arbitrator
2.85/5  rDev -24%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bomber poured into pint glasses and split with a friend.

A: Very, very dark brown. Impenetrable when held up to the light.

S: Coffee, dark chocolate, dark fruits.

T: Dark chocolate dominates with the coffee and dark fruit lagging behind. Malts pick up a bit later. A little booze warmth.

M: Just the right amount of carbonation and complexity, but it's boozy.

D: Slight difficulty downing it toward the end; it was almost a little TOO much, even split. Perhaps I drank it too fast. I'd certainly be willing to buy it again to see.

Highly recommended. What a damn good stout. (586 characters)

Photo of BretSikkink
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown color, not much highlighting in the dark bar. Fluffy head is espresso-foam-tinted with good stick in the goblet. Nose is very darkly roasted with notes of dark fruit alongside the molasses.

Herbal and somewhat pungent, there are notes of pine, citric zest, and anise along with the coffee. Dark, ripe fruit notes emanate all over this one, though, stealing the show with rotting apple, plum, and fig.

The body is smooth and creamy, but not great. Very good. With warming, I liked it a little more, but still a little thin for such a bombastic style, and for the amount of flavor packed into it.

Bottom line: worthy RIS and the best Eel River beer I'm aware of. (677 characters)

Photo of thekevlarkid
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was the last bottle from a birthday gift my (now-ex) girlfriend gave me in August of 2008. It wasn't the best bottle from that gift, but it meant the most to me when I finally drank it in March of 2009. Wherever you are Sarah, I love you, I miss you and thank you. Out of the bomber the brew was a dark brownish-black color with a tan head. The retention was decent as a thin skim and the lacing spotty but consistent. The aroma was full of chocolate with some dry cocoa, roasted malt, light coffee, alcohol heat and caramel malt. The flavors were again full of chocolate malt along with alcohol heat, raisins, dark fruit, molasses, roasted malt and a little coffee on the finish. The mouthfeel was a little oily but slightly above-average, the body full and the carbonation medium. Yum. And thank you again. For everything. (829 characters)

Photo of charlzm
3.4/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Consumed at Lucky Baldwin's, 07/02/08.

Extremely dark clear brown, bordering on black. Ruby highlights around the edges. A one finger tan foam head reduced to a thin circle of foam with almost no lacing fairly quickly.

Aroma is reminiscent of red wine.

A little sticky as it glides into the mouth, this beer can best be described as a mild cherry cordial. Smooth and a little chocolaty with a subtle sweet cherry flavor in the aftertaste. Restrained flavor.

Drinkability suffers somewhat due to a one-note flavor and (in this case), overcarbonation. However, the relatively high alcohol content is utterly masked; I would have guessed this as a 5% ABV.

I might try it again, but it won't be a first choice. (712 characters)

Photo of HardTarget
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

USDA Organic on the cap

Appearance: Black glass shows some light brown edging when back lit. Holds a full finger of tan head.

Smell: Light earthy, leafy hop note, mild milk/lactic acid smell as well. Not a lot here, most of it seems hop driven.

Taste: Slightly sour twang of a stout is on target, lots of roasted barley supported by a sugary malt base that ends up somewhere near balanced. A light rain water taste that I associate with Organic beers, but it melds nicely with what is going on.

Mouthfeel: Heavy body, slightly astringent, dry finish encourages the next sip. Almost chalky.

Overall: A nice beer. No major flaws, a bit dry but nice flavor and obviously made with sufficient malt and hops to be Imperial. A good slow sipper, glad to try it. (760 characters)

Photo of blitheringidiot
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big ole double duecer 9.5% ABV. Label states "nitrogen conditioned." Huh?

Pours with an intense buh-lack as ink hue topped with a spumescent khaki dense cap leaving plenty of residual lace in the glass.

Earthy nose of mineral and espresso. Bold nose of wet creek rocks and a handful of dirt. Molasses and burnt toast.

First swigs: Dense layers of bakers chocolate, roasted barley, espresso bean, and vanilla hints. This one is nice. There is a chocolate aspect that really holds firm through the taste. No signs of 9.5 ABV in sight.

Feel is full bodied and rich with a dry finish.

Last swigs: A R.I.S. worthy of trying. Bakers chocolate and burnt malt goodness. Yum!

Beer is good. Happy beering. (704 characters)

Photo of far333
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black with purple highlights and a head of light brown foam that rises to a full inch and slowly recedes down to a fine cap.

Aroma of raisin and port, some molasses.

Vinous flavor, some cherry tang, molasses and brown sugar. Moves to coffee and cocoa. Subtle notes of alcohol. Seems to be missing a roasty character.

Thin mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Average drinkability, needs some complexity and backbone. (419 characters)

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
2.56/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Raven's Eye, bomber bought at Whole Foods Bowery for $6.99. Curious to try an "organic" Imperial Stout!

Appearance: Poured into my Sierra Anniversary snifter, the Raven appears customarily black with brown edges and a two-finger head that dies soon, leaving a chestnut-colored rim around the glass but barely any lacing.

Smell: The nose is bitter, raw, oxidized. Lots of barnyard and dirty farm. Milk shake left in the sun. Some cheap Ghirardelli chocolate crushed and thrown to a bunch of starving babies in Africa while you're vacationing and posing as a foreign-aid worker. Reminds me of an old, stale Stone 11th Anniversary Ale I had not too long ago.

Taste: Extreme coffee bitterness is all I get, plus some creamy milk and cheap chocolate. Like drinking cold burnt-ass Starbucks coffee and trying to wash it off with squares of Russell Stover. Booze and heat at the end. I wonder whether this bottle was wrong? Most reviewers didn't get any bitterness, and I do not get any dark-fruit aromas or vanilla. Curious...

Mouthfeel: The bitterness is overwhelming and unpleasant. It attacks and bites. Also, that expired-milk taste that comes after it doesn't help... This thing feel likes sucking the udder of an emaciated Ethiopian cow trying to get any of the spoiled, sour milk out of it just to survive. Not nice.

Overall: I can't get past the taste/smell/feel of rotten milk, dirty farm and saggy old cow tits. This ain't right, organic or not! Good thing is- I poured some Elijah Craig 12-year-old Kentucky Bourbon on this messy brew and it magically transformed itself into a respectable, woodsy barrel-aged Imperial Stout. Cheers! (1,645 characters)

Photo of babaracas
4.2/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bomber, brown-black w/ reddish brown edges. Tan head which fades to thin layer, fairly thick lacing. Smell: chocolate, roasted, black malt, a whiff of hops, raisin, and alcohol. Smell: sweet, dark fruit upfront, chocolate and alcohol and slight toffee. Good amount of citric and spicy hops blended in as well. The alcohol is fairly upfront, but at 9.5 it's not overly boozy. Mouthfeel: almost nitro smooth but maybe a bit thin, medium bodied and not so syrupy. Good RIS and inexpensive to boot. (506 characters)

Photo of NEhophead
3.82/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 fl oz brown bottle; served in a goblet.

Pours a near opaque, deep oak in color beneath a carbonation-filled, tan head. The head's retention is minimal as it caves outward-in after only a moment. Dimpled lacing with average strength.

Milk & dark chocolate with a heavy mocha and caramel aroma. Light vanilla, espresso, and even dried hazlenut. A rounded, vinous fruit-soaked alcohol. Rich and quite complex.

Creamy caramel and milk chocolate up front, soon followed by a chewy, roasted malt character. Aged, vinous fruit: cherry, grape, plum, mildly tart green apple and orange. The alcohol presence is quite balanced and marries well with the chocolate and vinous fruit characters. The finish is rough and bittered, which shows a sharper alcohol presence in the aftertaste.

Full bodied; big flavors, but a lighter/thinner mouthfeel than I would expect from the style. Thin in spots, but mostly able to balance the flavors.

Good flavors and almost balanced; however, this is on the lighter side of an Imperial Stout. This actually tastes more like a Baltic Porter. Pleasant, but would not be my first choice for the style. (1,129 characters)

Photo of magictrokini
2.75/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Infinitely dissatisfied with this one. Poured clear black with red edges. I say clear because you could see through it to some degree. Minimal lacing, short, bubbly tan head. Flat, musty caramel and malt aroma, some coffee, and thin cocoa powder. Taste was watery and weak. Some coffee and chocolate materialized as the beer got very warm, but before that, this was a grainy, soupy, earthy malt beverage. A bit astringent at the end. Imperial Stout? I think not. (462 characters)

Photo of IntriqKen
4.4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a typical pitch black with a half finger dark tan head that melts very quickly to a ring of sticky tan lacing.
Aroma is a mild coffee and chocolate mix.
Mouthfeel is creamy, thick and rich.
Taste is again a typical IS espresso and dark bitter chocolate with a nice malt sweetness balancing the bitterness of espresso coffee and bittersweet chocolate.
Aftertaste is mostly the bittersweet chocolate with a nice alcohol warming.
Not a spectacular Imperial Stout, but not bad by any means.
This one is very balanced with no surprises and no disappointments.
An excellent 'go to' Imperial Stout if it is available to you.
Thanks to beautiful kolohoe for this bottle (and another to cellar..woo hoo!) (709 characters)

Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very roasty aroma with some chocolate and a touch of citrus hops. Really a ton of coffee and roastiness which suits my taste buds just fine.

Quite roasty with little sweetness and a good dose of roasty bitterness. Chocolate and loads of coffee make this one a tasty brew.

Medium bodied with a slightly oily finish with some bitterness and some fruitiness as well.

I really liked this one. I have really been in a stout mood lately and this one certainly fit the bill. (473 characters)

Raven's Eye Imperial Stout from Eel River Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 185 ratings.